Posted on April 29, 2009


There seems to be a division of opinion about what is going on between Brawn GP and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. There are stories that a deal has been done for this year and next, while there are strong suggestions coming out of the team that other parties are interested and Branson should pony up some more serious money if he wishes to go forward. Branson was in the Bahrain paddock at the weekend, holding a press conference to announce that Rubens Barrichello and Niki Lauda had both paid €200,000 to fly into space on the Virgin Galactic spaceship. More…

Posted on April 18, 2009


Ross Brawn’s team has been in the eye of the storm lately, what with the protests over the double diffuser and the criticisms of people like Flavio Briatore. Brawn is a thick skinned individual, but he will have felt the personal attacks of Ferrari’s lawyer in the appeal court hearing last week. Of course he’s been around long enough to know that you take the heat when you are the team to beat, he’s been in that situation at Benetton and Ferrari and controversy has been in the air in those times too. He’s a big man, he can take More…

Posted on April 15, 2009


The International Appeal Court has ruled that the diffusers used by Brawn, Toyota and Williams are legal. So now we have clarity and we move on. But bad feelings remain. The hearing yesterday certainly got nasty, it seems, as it dragged out into yesterday evening.

Posted on April 13, 2009


It’s been a fairly quiet Easter as far as happenings in F1 are concerned. I guess Malaysia was such a momentous weekend, with the McLaren/stewards affair and the crazy race, it’s hardly surprising that the sport needed to take a breather. But tomorrow (Tuesday 14th) things will get intense again as the international appeal court makes its decision regarding the legality of the diffusers of Brawn, Williams and Toyota. This decision could well decide the outcome of the world championship, certainly that is the view of former world champions Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, who are on the wrong side More…

Posted on April 5, 2009


It’s a shame that Jenson Button has yet to see the chequered flag at full racing speed at the end of a full race. Both his wins have been terrific, but this one today was really special and you have to pay tribute to the masterful way that the Brawn team, Button and his engineer Andrew Shovlin managed the changing conditions. Others, like Glock and Heidfeld made greater gains by gambling on wet tyres, and Heidfeld gambled several times with the result that he made only one pit stop compared to Button’s four. But then Glock and Heidfeld had nothing More…

Posted on April 1, 2009


The Brawn team moves on to Sepang this weekend with a maximum points haul in the championship so far and the chance to double that advantage. With its huge downforce, excellent balance and thumpingly powerful engine, the Brawn Mercedes car should be even more superior to the opposition on the fast flowing sweeps of Sepang. But there are still a few areas the team needs to work on. Because there were only seven days of testing before the start of the season, they had to focus on reliability and race performance work. There was no time to look at maximising More…

Posted on March 31, 2009


Very interesting piece on the Guardian site today, quoting a Brawn team ‘insider’ talking about how much faster the car is capable of going than we saw on Sunday. It’s interesting because Ross will not like this very much at all. He didn’t get where he is today by giving anything away and this gives a bit too much away. That said, it does deflect attention away from the diffuser, suggesting, as they used to do in Brawn’s Ferrari days, that the thing everyone thinks is the key to speed, isn’t and that the key lies elsewhere. “I think, basically, More…

Posted on March 30, 2009


I’m sitting in Melbourne airport in the departure lounge waiting for a 1am flight to Kuala Lumpur. I’m not alone, there are plenty of F1 people milling around, rather bleary eyed waiting for the plane. Ferrari are on the flight, along with some French and English journalists, a few photograpers and others. It’s an eight hour flight and it will be tiring, but it’s not a bad flight to catch as it gets in to KL at 6-30am, so you don’t lose a whole day travelling. I was rather surprised at the check-in to see Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali More…

Posted on March 27, 2009


An exhilarating hour spent in the pit lane during the first practice session. Strangely unfamiliar for me as it’s three years since I was last down there, having had to yield my pit lane pass to Steve Rider back in 2006. I used to live in the pits, back in the day, knew every nook and cranny, had eyes in the back of my head for cars coming in, going out, mechanics rushing. It takes me 20 minutes to get used to the rush and the energy. I quickly get used to it again. The energy is always astonishing. You More…

Posted on March 26, 2009


There’s a strong story doing the rounds here in Melbourne that Richard Branson’ s Virgin group is going to announce a sponsorship deal with Brawn GP tomorrow (Friday). Branson himself is believed to be on his way out here to make the announcement. It is well known that Virgin looked seriously at buying the team from Honda over the winter, but pulled out because, among other reasons, it felt the sport’s environmental credentials were not as strong as they need them to be. I imagine also that they were put off by the uncertainty about the performance of the car More…

Posted on March 17, 2009


Today is the final day of the group pre-season test programme for Renault and Brawn. McLaren and Williams continue until Thursday. It’s the last chance the teams in Jerez will have to try out new parts and fine tune their cars on the track before Melbourne. We have Brawn, McLaren, Williams and Renault all operating with a single car. So far this month the two main stories have been the stunning performance of the Brawn Mercedes cars, which came so close to never seeing the light of day after Honda pulled out of F1 and the trouble McLaren has been More…

Posted on March 13, 2009


It’s official! The Brawn is the fastest car in the F1 field with two weeks to go before the start of the season! It is an extraordinary story. The Barcelona test, which finished on Thursday, could well go down as one of the most remarkable events in recent F1 history, as a team which seemed dead in the water at Christmas, bounced back and not only set the fastest outright lap of the week, but showed that it is faster over the race distance than the Ferrari! Amazingly for a brand new car, reliability was very good too. The car More…

Posted on March 12, 2009


This has been a great week for F1 with a real buzz starting to build around the start of the new season. As predicted it has also given us a much better idea of where the teams are relative to each other in performance, with a few surprises, like McLaren and Brawn. The key question is, who’s the pace setter? Well from what I’ve seen so far this week -and the picture has been clearing as the week’s gone on – there is nothing to choose between Ferrari and BMW, with Toyota and Brawn right there too. The one thing More…

Posted on March 12, 2009


Everyone is buzzing with the performance of the new Brawn Mercedes car in Barcelona, particularly that lap Jenson did on Wednesday of 1m 19.127 to end the day fastest. There is a lot of speculation within F1 circles and the wider public about how he did that time, whether it is genuine or whether they are running an underweight car to attract sponsors, as some teams have done in the past. Even Fernando Alonso has paid tribute to the Brawn team today, saying that his Renault couldn’t do those lap times whatever configuration it was in! Well I’ve taken a More…

Posted on March 11, 2009


Ross Brawn’s team still has a long way to go, the car has no sponsors on it, the Mercedes engine deal is rumoured to be for just one year and they have to find partners in an economic crisis, but for 2009 things are a lot rosier for this team than they might appear. For one thing, Ross is not running the team on a shoestring, he has been given a budget not just to compete, but to impress. Honda estimated that it would cost them €100 million to close the team down and rather than do that, with all More…

Posted on March 10, 2009


Ross Brawn has faced the media for the first time as a team owner today at Barcelona. He spoke for around 20 minutes about his new life as a team owner, the performance of the new car, his plans for the future and the decision not to hire Bruno Senna. The most significant comments he made regarded the former Honda CEO Nick Fry. Stories emanating from Japan were that Honda did not want Fry to be part of the management buyout. Perhaps the way around this is that he has not taken a stake in the team, which apparently is More…

Posted on March 7, 2009


Ross Brawn has revealed more details behind his takeover of the Honda team and some of the decisions he’s made. Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Brawn makes the key revelation that he had the choice of Ferrari or Mercedes engines but chose the Mercedes because it was easier to fit into the Honda chassis. This is interesting because it had been widely believed that Ferrari had said no. He also says that they started modifying the chassis just after Christmas. Brawn also reveals that, “When I left Ferrari I never imagined that one day I would become the owner More…



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